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Thanks FDA for the New Nutrition Labels

FDA Finally Makes Some Changes

Too bad things move so slowly when the health of a country is at stake.  Finally, the FDA approved some changes to the new nutrition labels that must take effect by 2018.  Keep your eye out for the new Nutrition Facts panel on packaged foods.  These should make a major difference in how you select your foods.

2016-Nutrition-Facts-Label

Here’s What You Should Look For

One of the foremost and important additions was the line “Added Sugars”.  OMG, we’ve needed that for years.  Now you’ll know when you eat sweetened fruit yogurt, for example, just how much sugar has been added on top of the naturally occurring sugars found in the milk and fruit.  I think we’re all going to be shocked.  Maybe it will encourage food manufacturers to put more fruit in the yogurt and less added sugars.  It’s going to be laughable when you look at the label of a soda.  It’s all added sugars.

In the bottom section where some key vitamins and minerals are pointed out, we’ll finally know just how many milligrams of each is in the food.  Maybe you’re trying to increase your calcium intake to 1200 mg per day.  You can start to assess foods based on numbers not percentages (which didn’t help most people).

The FDA is even requiring that companies increase the font size on the label for calories so you can actually see it.  I wish markets would have magnifying glasses available in the aisles so you can actually see what the label says.

Do You Read Labels?

According to an article in Time magazine, 77% of Americans say they read labels.  Good for you guys!  Hopefully in time we can get the other 23% to do it.  There’s a gold mine of information on the label if you just take the time to mine it.  The most looked at values on a label are normally calories and fat.  But now with the push to get manufacturers to lower the amount of sodium in  their  products, people may start to pay more attention to that line item.

I wish that more people paid attention to the fiber content of a food.  Americans, on the whole, don’t get enough fiber.  It’s why we keep pushing for more whole grain products, fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts.  We need to get the intestines working harder.  Eating fiber is akin to lifting weights.  It gives the intestinal muscles resistance training, strengthening the muscle in the process.

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